How I Turned Those Wasted Hours into a Money-Making App

You would imagine that, as an art director and graphic designer for one of the Czech Republic’s biggest ad agencies, my days would be spent burning the midnight oil on some big campaign or other and, most times, you’d be right.

However, there are many times when I find that most of my day is spent messing around on Facebook or standing outside smoking way too many cigarettes while the client prevaricates over every tiny change or decision.

Now, I like to take a break as much as the next guy but, when you’re in the zone and you have to down tools to await instructions on an hourly basis, your attention wanders and its difficult to keep up the same level of enthusiasm.

What I needed was something other than Youtube, Facebook and/or online games to occupy my down-time. Something that would utilise my skills and keep my nose to the grindstone.

It was then that, instead of shutting down Photoshop while the board of directors was in a meeting or at an extended lunch, I would instead idle the hours away on various photo-editing forums, removing and replacing elements on strangers’ photos for my own amusement (and to keep my eye in). Before long, I realised I was working so fast, I could re-touch and repair dozens of photos in an hour.

My stint at the agency ended and I found myself freelancing and, once again, I filled the interminable waiting periods between transatlantic conference calls with photo-retouching contests on reddit and elsewhere. CS5 had just come out and the photo-editing was a good way to test its new features (especially the Content Aware filter): my work rate went through the roof.

Later, during the inevitable periods of unemployment, I kept my eye in by continuing with the photo-editing only this time I began to feel that it would be cool if I could actually make some money from the service I was providing. I also realised that, while the groups I spent my time in were usually inundated with requests, there still remained a huge majority of casual photographers and mobile phone users who didn’t know of their existence.

Gradually, the seed of an idea began to gestate: why not find a way to provide the same service via a mobile phone app?

This year, the idea is finally becoming a reality. As we speak, our crack team of developers are putting the finishing touches to the Tweak app and, very soon, designers will be earning real money from their skills.

In future, the time wasted gossiping round the coffee machine can now be put to rewarding use. Instead of browsing the web or chatting on Facebook, designers can spend their idle hours lucratively altering photos from a constant stream supplied by mobile phone users from around the globe.

For Tweak to be a success, we need one vital component: you. You can either sign up as a designer or simply help spread the word by sharing our homepage.
So, if you have the right skills and are prepared to utilise those spare hours, why not join the ever-growing artistic community on Tweak?